Free Education?

Free Education?

Date Published: September 21, 2020

Many institutions exist to help students finance their studies. For instance, a partnership between NSFAS and the National Youth Development Agency have created opportunities for more students to be able to receive funding. 

Students with a household income of less than 6000 per year, are also not required to pay registration and upfront fees. All of this will be covered if they obtain a NSFAS bursary.

Access to NSFAS application forms

Many students who are most in need of the NSFAS loans are unable to access online applications forms. This is especially true for poor students or those who live in rural areas.

Luckily, the Department of Social Development has begun to assist NSFAS in handing out printed application forms. These forms, along with support staff, can be found at community centers. 

Registration Fees

Once again,the students who need to pay the fees the most, are usually unable. Many of these students in need simply do not have the money to pay upfront registration fees.

NSFAS has created the initiative and will see the group paying registration fees for those applicants that cannot afford them.

Helping the “missing middle”

NSFAS has been the primary funder of nearly 95% of students. The wealthy students in South Africa, who can afford all the fees, make up 5% of the students attempting to get into university. 

These missing middle students will have their pre-frees paid up front by the government. 

History of student debts

Students who historically have bad debt, can no longer be turned away by NSFAS finding initiatives. 

The Department of Higher Education has set aside R967 million to assist students with historic debt. 

Turning loans into bursaries

Of all loans that NSFAS gives out, 40% of them are converted to bursaries. NSFAS money lending is currently sitting at 70% bursaries, 30% loans. This means that 70% of current loans will not be required to be paid back to NSFAS.

Billions more to nsfas

In  2017 the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, allocated an extra 9 billion to the NSFAS initiatives to help more students receive funding. 

Free education?

No, education in South Africa is not yet free. However, the chances of getting a free education through NSFAS are increasingly more viable. 

With historic debt no longer preventing applications and 95% of students being funded by NSFAS, life for potential students in South Africa has definitely improved. 

This article was originally written on the 5th of November 2016. Click here to view the original. 

Author: Jan Badenhorst, CEO, Matric College

Published: December 1, 2020

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